LAWRENCE TWP. – Rocky jumped down the steps and ran to greet Andrea Rutledge.
The miniature brown pit bull is a ball of energy, its tail wagging quickly as it checked everyone in the room.
“He’s got a big, big personality,” she said as he chased a yellow tennis ball across the room. “He’s just a happy little kid.”
Rocky, one of 11 dogs at Forty Corners Animal Rescue, was housed there about a year after it was handed over from its previous owner, said Rutledge, the rescue operations manager.
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But Rocky had reason to celebrate on Friday. Hours later, new owners should arrive to bring the nearly three-year-old dog to Pittsburgh.
It’s emotional for Rutledge and the other rescue workers, even if they’re glad Rocky has his home forever.
Forty Corners Animal Rescue a dream come true
Forty Corners Animal Rescue, 11643 Forty Corners Road NW, started in Fall 2020.
The nonprofit was founded by Nancy Farina, who splits her time between her home in Lawrence Township and Hawaii.
Rutledge said Farina, a lover of animals, had a heart of gold and dreamed of starting her own rescue.
For a little over a year the group has been taking in homeless dogs and cats and looking for a new home.
The rescue accepts pets dropped off by their owners, as well as from other animal-heaped rescues.
Many of the dogs that have spent time at Forty Corners Animal Rescue come from extra-state animal shelters in Houston and West Virginia, Rutledge said.
This year, Forty Corners Animal Rescue is hoping to take in dogs and cats from local animal shelters that have been inundated with homeless animals.
According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats in the United States are struggling to survive
In Stark County, the Humane Society reported last month that their pound was overpopulated.
Mass handovers of pets and hoarding make up part of the population surplus in humane society.
Forty Corners Animal Rescue said the numbers of homeless dogs and cats are overwhelming and they have seen up to 20 dogs rescues at one time, but Rutledge says the rescue is better equipped to serve about 10 at a time.
Nursing staff needed
The animals on the rescue live in a two-story, 2,360-square-foot house with Rutledge. Every dog ââhas its own place.
The spacious property has several large fenced yards so that the dogs can run and play. Sometimes, said Rutledge, they have the house under control.
A converted detached garage houses the nearly 20 cats who call the rescue home under the care of Lauren LeCount-Hughes. The walls are lined with shelves for the cats to climb on.
Officials said they received calls about stray cats on a daily basis.
Cheyenne Johnson, who deals with cat adoptions and other things, said cat adoption is now suspended, a tough decision with so many more cats in need of help.
Johnson said they need foster families to take in the animals, especially cats, in order to prepare them for new homes.
“It’s great to have her in a home setting,” said employee Janine Ortiz. She has been caring for a dog that arrived at the shelter since September after it was found on a Texas oil rig with a litter of puppies.
Everything is being provided for foster families, Rutledge said, adding that they offer food, vaccinations, and other treatments, as well as being neutered or neutered.
Rutledge, along with six people who look after the animals, would like to teach the dogs basic skills such as sitting and walking on a leash before they are adopted.
For more severe cases, they seek the help of the cantonal dog trainer Libby Smith from Cosmic K-9.
The dogs and cats given up for adoption are placed on Petfinder and Adopt a Pet. They can also be found on the organization’s Facebook page.
Anyone wishing to adopt a Forty Corners Animal Rescue pet must go through an application process that includes a background check.
Rutledge said they get to know potential new owners long before a rescue leaves.
She suggests that anyone who accepts an animal reserve be with their new pet for the first few days. They suggest picking them up over a weekend so you can spend more time helping them adjust.
âWe were very lucky with COVID. We have a lot of people staying at home or working from home, âsaid Rutledge. “Some of our animals have been here for a year, others only for two weeks.”
Reach Amy at 330-775-1135 or [email protected]
On Twitter: @aknappINDE